BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
A light sprinkle of rain following a heavy downpour on Sunday afternoon cooled down an otherwise-muggy day just in time for the second annual Wellness Challenge 5K Race/Walk & Family Fun Day at the Takoma Ball Field.
Just as many runners as last year -- 78 -- participated this year, running through the rain along the downtown course as walkers followed at a more casual pace.
"Everyone had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the new, certified running route through downtown," said Renee Lowery, Takoma Foundation and Volunteer Services director.
"It's a family fun day," Lowery said. "We encourage all families to come out to encourage wellness."
As runners began returning from the race, Lowery said families piled into the ball field area to enjoy grilled foods, sno cones and other festivities.
She estimated that nearly 300 people were present at the event.
"Gospel singing was certainly a favorite, with Leslie Crutcher and Disciples of Christ performing, and the children's fun zone -- with inflatables, corn hole games, bubble station and face painting -- was also a great hit," she said.
"On behalf of the Takoma Foundation Board, we appreciate the support of the Greeneville Astros as our major event sponsor, and the other sponsors for supporting our [event], and commend the community for helping Takoma promote wellness," Lowery said.
"A fit mind promotes a healthy body, and a healthy body promotes a fit mind. And what better way than to run or walk in our beautiful community?" she added.
Sunday's overall 5K winners included:
* Overall Male, Tom McCormack, in 18 minutes, 23 seconds;
* Overall "Master" (40 or over) Male, Arthur Ricker, in 21 minutes, 59 seconds;
* Overall Female, Marina Clayton, in 22 minutes, 22 seconds; and,
* Overall "Master" Female, Susan Jones, in 27 minutes, 23 seconds.